12/17/2011 5:45PM

Golden Gate: Antares World re-rallies to upset odds-on Halo Dolly in Pacific Heights

Vassar Photography
Antares World gets up in time to win the Pacific Heights under jockey Frank Alvarado after losing position on the far turn.

ALBANY, Calif. - Antares World rallied through the lane on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields to avenge her second-place finish in last year’s Pacific Heights Stakes while scoring her first victory of the year.

Last year's of the race had to be switched to the main track, but this year's edition of the $75,000 Pacific Heights, for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, remained on the turf.

Antares World, second choice in the field of six, bumped with odds-on favorite Halo Dolly leaving the gate. She moved into a nice stalking position behind Two Thirds Victory down the backstretch but dropped back to fifth in the stretch.

But Jockey Frank Alvarado didn't give up and the 4-year-old Decarchy filly finished strong to win the race by three-quarters of a length over trouble-prone Halo Dolly in 1:50.67. She paid $9. Sweetly Peppered was third, missing second by a head.

“My filly had a second gear in the stretch," Alvarado said. “I was confident.”

Trainer Steve Specht told Alvarado to take the lead if no one else wanted it, but Alvarado said he was content to wait after jockey  Kevin Krigger put Two Thirds Victory on the lead.

"Antares World doesn't have to be on the lead, and she was nice and relaxed," said Alvarado, who remained unruffled when Halo Dolly moved up to challenge Two Thirds Victory at the quarter pole and Sweetly Peppered and Arrivederci Caro passed him in the lane.

"When Halo Dolly pulled to the lead, I thought we were running for second," said Specht, who had freshened Antares World for five months during the summer. Her only race since May was a ninth-place finish in a 6 1/2-furlong Cal Cup stakes race at Santa Anita on Oct. 29.

"I was kind of concerned she might not be quite fit enough for 1 1/8 miles,” Specht said. “My filly will fight it out. She's not a quitter. With this race under her belt, she should move way up."

Halo Dolly's rider Russell Baze said the 3-year-old filly didn't relax down the backstretch and that he was fortunate to find a seam for her to move through as the field approached the second turn.

"If she ever learned to relax, she'd never beaten," said Baze.

Antares World is owned and was bred by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams. Antares World  earned $45,300 for her seventh career victory in 21 starts, lifting her career earnings to $378,288.